CONTROL AND CHANGE
Every organization has some form of controls in place, be they strictly administrative infunction or even mechanical style controls. Control is a necessary function of management inany type of business from the extremes of the Military to a more informal version in a “mom and pop” grocery store. Everything from the requirement of a specific size bolt used to be used on amanufacturing line, to a standard format cover sheet on a report, is a control and decided upon bymanagement at some level. These are not in themselves bad things, and are important aspects of business. Allowing personnel to go about their job without some form of guidance as tostandardized conduct would in no way help aim the business in the desired direction. The verycreation of a Mission and Vision for any organization is the basis for controls in some form. Callit “coordination” if that makes it seem less Machiavellian, but at its base the function of management is to control.Of course there are varying levels of control in organizations and overdoing anything can be bad for the business, even being too controlling – or over controlling too quickly in anorganization that had little in the way of standardized controls at the beginning. This eventuallycould lead to problems with employees, customers and eventually lead to a drop in the bottomline; anathema to any Board of Directors, CEO’s or upper management personnel. In the case of Home Depot at the turn of the century this drastic change in control style can be clearlyillustrated. Although the company went through a record growth period, a change in theeconomic environment and years of complaints eventually led to the end of a CEO’s tenure.
Militarization of Home Depot
– At the beginning of 2000 Home Depot sales were at $46Billion with gross margins at 30% (Grow 2006). Founded at the end of the 1970’s by BernieMarcus and Arthur Blank, Home Depot managed to expand and profit at unbelievable rates,2